NEWS RELEASE · 16th June 2011
Office of The Premier
British Columbians are understandably embarrassed and disappointed by Wednesday night's activities. It should have been a celebration of the tremendous effort by the Canucks in their playoff run. It turned into a shameful display of behaviour by people bent on violence.
The vast majority of citizens gathered and dispersed peacefully, but sadly they also witnessed the mayhem. There were also good Samaritans there: people who had the guts to stand up for what is right and citizens who showed up the morning after to help with the clean-up.
These people deserve our thanks. They are the ones who will define our city and our province.
The police and fire fighters had a very difficult job and their hard work is appreciated. The clean-up crews and the businesses have all worked hard to restore the downtown core. I'd also like to thank the first responders who tended to those who were injured as a result of these foolish actions.
There were a lot of preparations. Based on the Olympics, Vancouverites hoped and expected we were past the type of destruction we saw in 1994. It's very disappointing. We will work with the City of Vancouver to review what we can learn from this. When this happened in '94, new approaches were incorporated. We have more to do.
I want to be very clear: this is not who we are. We will not let this band of criminals define us.
None of us want to live in the kind of society we saw last night. We are going to send a strong message of deterrence: if you played a part in this, we have a mountain of evidence and that evidence will be used by authorities to support criminal charges.
Members of the public can help the police and crown prosecutors by submitting any photos, videos or other evidence they may have. Vancouver police are asking people to email their photos and videos to robbery,,,vpd.ca, or post information through Twitter at #VPD.
Citizens have also come together to create their own social media sites to share information about events and images of troublemakers captured on mobile phones. The police will monitor these sites closely as part of their efforts to gather evidence.
We will push for full justice. Collectively, we will do our best to bring those responsible to account. Criminal charges will be pursued wherever possible and appropriate.
If you are responsible, we will hold you responsible. Your family, friends and employers will know. We will ensure we have the resources to do this. You will not be able to hide behind your hoodie or your bandana.
No one wants this to happen again. We will not let the behaviour of a few disgrace the City of Vancouver or British Columbia as a whole. This is not who we are.
On Thursday morning I met with Mayor Robertson and Charles Gauthier of the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association to survey the damage. We met dozens of citizens who had gathered downtown, saddened by what happened last night but determined to clean up.
Among them was a student from David Livingston Elementary School, broom in hand, doing her part to sweep away the stain left on her city last night. In these people I saw the spirit, grace and responsibility that make Vancouver and British Columbia the kind of place we all want to live.
Premier of British Columbia
time will tell
Comment by Steve on 17th June 2011
Hope you're right Merv, but only time will tell
Interesting to see the people starting to turn themselves in. The young fella who thought it was so cool to start a police car on fire has now been suspended from the Canadian Water Polo team and may face loss of his scholarship.
Nice to see the chickens coming home to roost
Comment by Val on 17th June 2011
In regards to the comment about a local individual being identified in pictures from the riot - does anyone know if they were at Red Sands May Long? Maybe we'll have to get cell phone reception there for next year.
Comment by Merv on 17th June 2011
On CBC Radio this morning, David Eby was on the side of the police. He spoke about the value of the cell phone cameras. He added, these are not the police or government "in the sky" surveillance cameras, these were citizens standing up for their town. On this one, Steve, you and Eby are on the same side. As are most reasonable people.
Comment by Steve Smyth on 17th June 2011
Anyone want to join a pool predicting how long it will take David Eby and the BCCLU to issue a press release defending some of these morons?
Real hockey fans dont go to a party with flares, pipes and balaclavas in their back packs. Most of these people are guilty of drunkeness, stupidity and making exremely poor decisions.
I'll bet we may very well find that the ones who started it all and incited the mob were the "usual suspects" from the G8 meetings etc who live off the society they profess to hate.
Comment by ron wilton on 16th June 2011
As I read this 'letter' my mind wandered to the malicious acts and harm the Liberal government has inflicted, and continues to do so, on our province, and I thought she was apologizing(sp) for the damage they have done and are doing.
After all, which is greater?
Then I returned to the present and wonder if she will go after those political miscreants with the same zeal, or is this just more posturing?
Book 'em all!
Comment by MaggieJo on 16th June 2011
A crime is a crime is a crime.
Book 'em all for the crimes they committed.
I have no problem paying my tax dollars to get these idiots off the streets and put them in JAIL!
And puhlease don't blame this on the Police. The idiots caused these problems...NOT the police!
An opinion only.
Comment by James Ippel on 16th June 2011
Who is resonsible for this mayham?? To start with I would go with the Mayor and Council of the City of Vancouver for placing large screen TV's in the downtown core and inviting 1,000's upon 1,000's of people to attend. Did they honestly expect only family oriented people to attend, especially for the final game??
Secondly, we cannot put the blame on a small hardcore group for the problems the Police, Fire, and First Responders faced. The majority of estimated 150,000 people were involved, directly or indirectley. Those not actively involved in causing mayham and damage hampered emergancy personnal by hampering their ability to get to hot spots. The Firefighters could not get to fires because of people clogging the streets. Ambulance people could not attend injured for the same reason. Why did'nt the non participants exit the areas, and go home?????? This would have given the police a far greater chance of bringing the situation under control.
As a footnote, Boston did not open the TD Arena as a deterant to have large crowds suddenly congregate on the streets at the end of the game.
The large screen TVs should not have been put in use for this last game.
Comment by Ian on 16th June 2011
While there may have been up to 100 K of people on the outside only a very small percentage were involved.
With that many people how would you keep the peace in such a small area.
Yes they saw this coming, however the memories of 94 came back to haunt them.
What I find interesting is that 6 people were arrestted in Boston last night for the sam e thing.
Do not think that because of what happened on happens here in Canada.
The fans were expecting nothing but the Stanley Cup
Comment by Helmut Giesbrecht on 16th June 2011
In the excitement of all the revenue, nobody saw this coming with the thousands attracted by the big screens and party atmosphere?
Courts Waste of time
Comment by Moe Naguib on 16th June 2011
Assuming the premier intends on pushing these Vandals through the BC court system will generate lots of income for those who feed off it, but with the current sentencing practices it will fail as a deter-ant .